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keith
17-06-2009, 08:29 AM
Well we're back :cry2:

We had a totally amazing time as always :yes:

Brief highs and lows

Highs

Port Orleans French Quarter - superb. I love Riverside too and think they're both the best moderates available but French Quarter does have that more intimate feeling.

Weather - wow! When we got there all the weather stations were saying rain and storms but in fact, apart from a couple of afternoons, it was simply hot and perfect the whole time.

Parks - not very busy at all! Wait times very good

American Idol experience - DW's favourite and even I had to admit it was very well done indeed

Uno Grill - really really nice informal place to eat. Great food, Great service!

Winter Garden Village - Slightly cheaper to get to by cab than the florida mall or mall at millenia and WAY less touristy! Great range of shops and nice people around generally. Winter Garden Village :: Winter Garden, FL (http://www.wintergardenvillage.com/)

Polynesian Luau - not the most exciting background story nor the most authentic luau but loads of relaxing fun as always

California Grill - We went a few times and were really lucky to get window tables. I feel a bit emotional even remembering watching wishes from there. There's a great atmosphere there and the food has been consistently excellent IF you tell them how you want it cooked! Important for UKers particularly since we're not all great at describing how we want things cooked and the CG chefs seem to err towards the rare side if you don't specify. All I can say is, when someone says "the chef recommends this is rare is that ok?" it's just a recommendation and he/she isn't paying/eating so feel totally free to say "no, medium-well please" or however you like it. It's not making a fuss, it's absolutely the accepted thing to do :yes: There's no point saying nothing and then spending the meal moaning to each other.

Chinese Dragon Court - at the other end of the dining scale :lol: a very nice chinese buffet by crossroads. FAR less choice than at the super buffets but this is a GOOD thing meaning the food on offer was always hot and replaced frequently. Great staff too. I'm not saying you'll be wowed by the surroundings, but it's cheap and the best chinese buffet we've found in Orlando so far.

Lows

Virgin atlantic - I phoned to enquire about an upgrade a few weeks before going. They messed up the booking totally requiring hours on the phone to sort it out and resulting in DW and I being on separate reservations without the seats which we'd booked about a year earlier. Every phone call to them was painful and complaint to customer services resulted in them refunding our miles. I didn't care about the miles, I just wanted the booking back the way I had it WITH our seats.

TTA closed for refurb - Magic Kingdom EMH night just not the same without a few rides on the TTA :(

Mortons steakhouse - I've been before in Washington and enjoyed it. In Orlando it was a let down. Expensive overall and disinterested server. No desire to go back. Ruth's chris was better for a celebration dinner and Charleys at other times.

Prices - more expensive across the board ESPECIALLY inside Disney. Couldn't believe how much things had gone up!

Fantasmic - down to three shows a week and it's a total scrum. HIGHLY recommend the fantasmic dining package and still get there early! Why they reduced the number of shows I don't know. Well I do, money :/ but mad.

Disney busses - not great this time. They took AGES to arrive especially downtown disney ones. No shade at our bus stop at downtown disney so it was especially annoying.

Pushchairs & rude parents - always a problem at Disney. People using pushchairs as weapons to try and barge through queues/crowds etc. Large amount of parents who seem to think because it's their holiday, letting their kids run wild in a restaurant annoying other guests is fine. Heard several arguments between people when they complained about kids. In one case, server asked nicely could they stop the kids running all over and got a mouth full of abuse. Later one of the kids got tripped over and of course it was everyone else's fault :slap: Easy to generalise and of course it wasn't every family but Disney is there for everyone not just the kids or families with kids. 'nuff said.

ukwdwnut
17-06-2009, 09:23 AM
well it certainly sounds like you had a great time keith as always....i soooooo hope we can go to POR or FQ will see if thats the same prive :D

Isafari
17-06-2009, 10:08 AM
Pleased you both had a good time Keith :yes:
I need to find the Chinese Dragon Court for our next visit. You may laugh but....did they have fries too (I don't like rice) :unsure:

Debbie2
17-06-2009, 10:25 AM
Welcome back, Keith - happy to hear you had a great trip, despite a few annoying lows :)

keith
17-06-2009, 10:46 AM
Pleased you both had a good time Keith :yes:
I need to find the Chinese Dragon Court for our next visit. You may laugh but....did they have fries too (I don't like rice) :unsure:

Not laughing at all! yep they have fries too :yes:

There are at least three Chinese buffets around crossroads, probably more. The most popular seems to be the New york china buffet. This is the one that made us very ill indeed and smelt of cat (not suggesting anything, just saying how it smelt).

The Dragon court one is across the road and they do loads of "normal" stuff as well as all the chinese. So fries, pizza, fried chicken and so on.

catrancher
17-06-2009, 11:13 AM
Welcome back, Keith! Glad you had a good time and got Port Orleans warmed up for me. :yes:


Large amount of parents who seem to think because it's their holiday, letting their kids run wild in a restaurant annoying other guests is fine. Heard several arguments between people when they complained about kids. In one case, server asked nicely could they stop the kids running all over and got a mouth full of abuse.

Do NOT get me or my DW started on that subject.

The good news for me is that my DW spent 30 years as a kindergarten teacher before she retired so whenever we see children acting like that, she just gives them her "teacher look"! :eek:

Usually works! :thumbsup:

Tom (:macwave:... now, back to geekdom!)

foreverducky
17-06-2009, 11:17 AM
Good to hear that you had a great time, even though there were some not so great moments.

Tom, I would love to be around you guys, especially with that 'teacher look.' I'm sure it comes in handy.

catrancher
17-06-2009, 11:22 AM
I'm sure it comes in handy.

Extremely! :yes:

And amazingly, even after being retired for the past 6 years, she's still got it! :thumbsup:

Tom (:macwave:... few things more useful than a good "teacher look"!)

Slowhand
17-06-2009, 11:32 AM
Glad to see that overall you seemed to have a great time Keith :thumbsup:...and welcome back.
You`ve just reminded me about Winter Garden. My DW and I had dinner at the Bonefish Restaurant there a while back and said [well my DW said] that we must return there one day for some shopping. :lol:
Just added it to my list of "must do`s" for this trip.

keith
17-06-2009, 11:39 AM
Glad to see that overall you seemed to have a great time Keith :thumbsup:...and welcome back.
You`ve just reminded me about Winter Garden. My DW and I had dinner at the Bonefish Restaurant there a while back and said [well my DW said] that we must return there one day for some shopping. :lol:
Just added it to my list of "must do`s" for this trip.

We were both very impressed indeed!

Now, it's pretty spread out and it was extremely hot the times we visited, so walking between places was a chore. However, all the places we like to visit were there in one place. Best buy, super target, barnes & noble etc.

uscwest
17-06-2009, 11:52 AM
Welcome back Keith. Glad to hear you had a good time, for the most part. That bit with the kids running around in the restaurant is most annoying isn't it? If it weren't Disney the parents would probably be asked to leave and never come back.

keith
17-06-2009, 12:05 PM
Welcome back Keith. Glad to hear you had a good time, for the most part. That bit with the kids running around in the restaurant is most annoying isn't it? If it weren't Disney the parents would probably be asked to leave and never come back.

Thanks John

yep you're completely right, they would. Some of the behaviour at some of the upscale restaurants was awful. The dress code still isn't being enforced and together with the unruly kids, it certainly degraded the experience.

Shellyamc
17-06-2009, 12:18 PM
Hooray! Sounds like you had a pretty amazing time!!

Now pictures please :D

SleepinCatz
17-06-2009, 01:20 PM
Welcome Home Keith!!!


And Tom...you wife must teach us that look!

lozzy
17-06-2009, 01:24 PM
Glad to hear you a good time, and welcome back.:hug2:

Ursula
17-06-2009, 02:45 PM
Yaaaaaaaaaaaay! De main man is back! Whooooooooooop! runs up and leaps onto Keefis back... giddyup..... feels all pockets... wotcha get me?.....

ukwdwnut
17-06-2009, 03:37 PM
oh and welcome home boss :D

MystikPiglit
17-06-2009, 03:56 PM
:wave: Welcome home! Glad you had a good time.

Mari
17-06-2009, 04:02 PM
Welcome back Keith!!! :)

Seems like your trip had more highs than lows :)


Tom.. can I take your DW with us in September??? Tatiana might need the teacher look hahahahaha

Disneybumble
17-06-2009, 04:39 PM
Welcome home Keith and Mrs Keith.

Beccaberry
17-06-2009, 08:19 PM
Welcome home!

Glad to hear you had a nice trip :)

It's good to hear pleasant things about PO :) Did you manage to see Piano Bob while you were there?

Tinkfan
17-06-2009, 08:57 PM
:wave: trip report puh-leeze! We all understand that children aren't perfect but some self control does need to be enforced for the respect of all surrounding people!

keith
19-06-2009, 08:05 AM
Couple more things I should have remembered.

The UK disney package came with a few extras which were interesting.

Free Sea raycer voucher which worked fine.

$15 off planet hollywood which was useful! Quite a cool place planet hollywood at 1am :D

30minutes free at a disney arcade. Interesting this one, I thought no way will it be 30mins, how could it be, it'll just be a few credits. Well it was actually 30mins from the first time you swipe it! It stops you playing another different game for a minute but other than that, you get 30mins of free time on anything. So we had 30mins of playing that stupid basketball game :lol: and all the pinball machines at the polynesian. Really worked well. Not earth shattering I know, but we had fun.

The preferred viewing for the fireworks at epcot and magic kingdom. As Skywatcher has said previously there are a few notes. 1. you have to book 24hours in advance and they will not make exceptions. They did say we could turn up without booking and try but we found that the CMs guarding the empty, yep empty, viewing spots weren't up for letting us in with the voucher if we hadn't booked.
2. The viewing spot at MK is pretty pointless and not worth the effort
3. The viewing spot at Morocco at EPCOT is really nice. We turned up 30 seconds before the fireworks started and walked straight in after being checked by the CMs. Perfect viewing spot, no one else there and 5 or 6 people deep all the way round the lagoon otherwise. So it definitely worked out well. It's a fair way round so definitely need to leave enough time to get there but on our way through France we picked up a few glasses of champagne so all worked out nicely :)

We had LOADS of problems through the stay with the UK Disney Site booking. The UK booking number wasnt recognised by any US systems and since the new ADR system needed them to find us first, it caused untold problems each and every time we called. They CAN give you the US booking number if you ask and it's well worth it. (the UK one is a short number maybe 6 chars and the US one a lot longer)

On our first trip to a park we found the 14 day ultimate tickets werent on our cards despite being promised they had been added. It took 4 people and a manager at the resort to sort it out and took them a full day of phone calls & faxes to the US. I'd done nothing special or weird to the reservation, just ordered, paid on disney.co.uk and that was that. So worth asking the resort to check the tickets are on your room card when you pick them up!

The resort online checkin worked fine though I dont really think it saves THAT much time :) a little bit maybe.

I noticed every shop, resort and park, now has travel sized, antibacterial hand cleanser spray by the till. I guess it's a reaction to the swine flu issue. I'm not an obsessive about this but sometimes with all the kids and sticky fingers around at Disney it can be good to have a pocket sized spray available so I ended up finding them quite handy.

Tinkfan
19-06-2009, 11:56 AM
:sorry: I don't think we've heard the end of Swine Flu, I think how it mutates this Fall and Winter will be the deciding factor. We have another case in Buffalo NY, unfortunately the child is in critical condition at the moment.
Sanitize away!

Johnie
23-06-2009, 10:04 PM
Glad to have you back! Also glad to have you home.....we're staying at POR next time and looking forward to it.

keith
23-06-2009, 10:05 PM
Glad to have you back! Also glad to have you home.....we're staying at POR next time and looking forward to it.

I really love Port Orleans, both sides :yes:

Mags
23-06-2009, 10:15 PM
Oooops, Ive gone MIA for a week and missed this thread. Welcome home. Nice to hear you had such a lovely time.

Margaret

keith
23-06-2009, 10:16 PM
Thanks Mags!

ukwdwnut
24-06-2009, 07:46 AM
im also looking at a few if not a week at POR too for next year. it does look nice IMA :)

Mari
24-06-2009, 07:24 PM
thanks for all the extras you remembered!! very helpful!!